Today’s Headlines: Minimalist Workouts, Heart Attacks, and Sleep Drugs

The Rise of the Minimalist Workout: “In an article under his byline for Sports Illustrated in December 1960, “The Soft American,” President-elect John F. Kennedy lamented the state of the nation’s fitness. As president he exhorted citizens to plunge into activities like 50-mile hikes. As anyone sitting quietly and reading this article probably knows, that message did not resonate with most Americans. And these days, a majority get no planned exercise at all. So at the recent annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, one of the hottest topics was not how much exercise Americans should be completing, but how little.” (New York Times)

Heart Attacks Can Happen at Any Age: “Ernie Bender was lean and athletic; he skied and walked a lot, and would go snowshoeing every Wednesday with his friends. A golf course superintendent, he lived in Vail, Colorado, with his wife and three sons. One evening in 2000, he and his buddies decided to snowshoe up Vail Mountain and ride the gondola down. Bender complained of indigestion on the way up, which was odd because his last meal had been lunch. He told his friends he needed to sit down before getting on the gondola. After the group got in the cable car, he lost consciousness.” (CNN)

New Entry in the Quest for a Perfect Sleep Drug: “A new sleep drug by Merck & Co. is expected to gain U.S. approval in the coming months, even as its main competitor is coming under growing scrutiny by regulators and doctors for sometimes-dangerous side effects. The new drug, known as suvorexant, will affect a different part of the brain than a generation of older medicines such as zolpidem, known as Ambien, which depresses brain activity.” (Wall Street Journal)